It’s hard being an iPhone X owner. Now that’s not something you’ll hear very often. It’s Apple’s flagship, it’s of the best phones released in 2017, and its basic 64GB model costs $999. Most people will say you’re doing okay if you have one in your hand. Any sympathy for X owners is akin to feeling bad for Fyre Festival attendees. People just don’t care.
And yet, sometimes you don’t want to admit you have the X. It doesn’t help that Apple announced slashed production numbers in reaction to the X’s poor performance during Q4. Despite its early November release, not many people bought the handset for the holidays. With its reputation in the dumps, the X needs all the good press it can get—and so do its owners. Well now you have something to feel good about. The latest news suggest Androids are ripping off a particular design feature found only in the X.
Initial design specs stressed people out
Back when the X was just a twinkle in Tim Cook’s eye, Apple hinted that the X was going to be the first iPhone with edge-to-edge design. Until this announcement, the only phone with edge-to-edge display was an Android, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and its Infinity Edge.
Apple fans were understandably excited at the prospect at Apple’s version of a bezel-less phone and stayed glued to their screens awaiting more details regarding this new feature.
Maybe — just maybe — people overacted
Let’s wind back the clock to this time last year, when the first semi-believableiPhone X blueprints splashed across the Internet. Through the muck and mire of empty rumors and shameless speculation, people latched onto one of the rare genuine designs. And what they saw disturbed them.
Despite Apple’s promise, the earliest specs showed that bezel-less display had a lot more junk in the trunk—specifically at the top edge. Jilted followers of the X flooded messages boards decrying these new blueprints. At their mildest, these comments suggested the notch was an unusual design choice. At their most dramatic, they said it would ruin Apple’s UI.
Time has shown it’s a top-notch bezel
Now let’s return to the present, when everyone has had time to take a deep breath and calm down. Though Apple has been known to make daring hardware choices (the removal of Touch ID is just one of them), the Cupertino-based company would never introduce a new feature that looked bad.
Once the excitement of the initial announcement disappeared, it was obvious Apple wouldn’t do us all wrong like this.Of course Apple engineers made sure this notch wouldn’t disrupt the UI, and it looks great, looking less than an arbitrary design choice and more like it was meant to there.
It’s not just a pretty face; it actually serves a purpose
Technically, it’s true.The iPhone X has a lot of features hidden in this small notch. It holds the handset’s speaker, microphone, and front-facing camera. It also contains the new features that support Face ID: an infrared camera, flood illuminator, proximity sensor, and dot projector. For more details regarding this hardware, check out this helpful article that breaks down the mechanics behind Face ID.
Remember: imitation is the best form of flattery
Okay, so everyone who freaked out had to eat their words. The notch wasn’t as such a big deal as everyone worried it would be. As the world exhales its sigh of relief, it leaves it ready to gasp in shock. News of Android phones mimicking this top bezel notch came in late January of 2018.
Forgive the exaggeration. Sure, it’s not the first time an Android handset copied an Apple design. But it is the first time an Android copied a design feature that holds no purpose in its own hardware — especially when this feature was met with such derision at the beginning.
Knock-off Androids tried their best… but it wasn’t good enough
The culprits: theNoa and Leagoo. If you’re like most people, you haven’t heard of these brands. That’s because they’re no-name Chinese manufacturers that won’t ever appear in other markets. Another surprising silver lining is how hilariously bad these manufacturers integrated this stolen design.
Someone released a short video of the Noa N10 (which you can watch here) that shows how the notch interactswith its pull down menu. The manufacturers did nothing to accommodate the location of the notch, so it interferes significantly with the phone’s UI. It looks like a bad glitch in the Matrix. It doubles menu items and makes it difficult to read things like the handset’s clock.
Now’s your time to gloat
It’s hard not to feel a sense of smug satisfaction to think some schmucks overseas are buying a phone with a broken UI just to make it seems like they have your X. (As if you needed any more reasons to feel proud about your smartphone, you $1k player). You already knew you had a special handset. Now that it’s proven that everyone secretly wants an X, it’s only fair that you show off your smartphone.
If you choose to cover it up with some sort of decal or case, make your choice wisely. Some cheap decals aren’t designed specifically for the X. It’s far too easy to fall for a generic iPhone decal that claims to fit every generation. Once you put it on, you’ll realize how false these claims are as it will cover up the very feature you want to highlight.
Never stoop for anything less than precision cut decals
But not if you explore decal designers like dbrand. They engineer each of their decals (or skins, as they call them), measuring them to the specific handset they’re meant to cover. They tailor-make their iPhone X decals and complementing Grip case according to Apple’s official blueprints, so they can match the handset down to the micro-millimeter.You’ll never have to worry about covering up the notch when you protect and customize your iPhone X with one of their iPhone skins.
Once you find a manufacturer that highlights rather than hides this unique feature, you can go about designing an eye-catching decal that won’t be ignored. Choose a bright true color like yellow or opt for a red carbon fiber iPhone skin—no one will confuse your X for a knock-off Noa.
The bottom line: take what you can get
The iPhone X is a divisive phone. It eliminated the traditional Touch ID for the futuristic and somewhat flawed Face ID. Its OLED display is at risk of burn-in issues affecting its screen. Let’s not forget it’s $1,000 price tag. Despite its innovation, you’ll find yourself defending your choice of handsets more often than naught. It’s time you embrace your choice without shame. Let these latest Androids give a reason to love your phone. It notch inspires other manufacturers, but yours will always look and function better than any rip-offs.